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Mets can't sweep Nationals as Trea Turner hits walk-off home run

The Mets had rallied to tie the score with three runs in the eighth inning before Turner's HR gave the Nationals a 6-5 win.

Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals hits

Trea Turner #7 of the Washington Nationals hits a walk-off home run to win the game against the Mets during the ninth inning at Nationals Park on March 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. Credit: Getty Images/Scott Taetsch

WASHINGTON — Turns out the Mets won’t be perfect this season.

Trea Turner’s second home run of Sunday’s game gave the Nationals a 6-5 walk-off win over the Mets, who missed out on a season-opening weekend sweep.

The Mets beat the Nationals in games started by Max Scherzer on Thursday and Stephen Strasburg on Saturday but fell short against Patrick Corbin, making his Nats debut, in the finale.

The weekend’s events left Mickey Callaway feeling just fine about the state of the Mets.

“Going into the day, three [wins] would’ve been nice,” Callaway said. “We still won the series. The way we lost that game puts something in [the Nationals’] mind. They have doubt. No matter what the score is, they know we’re not going to lay down.”

Callaway was referencing a three-run rally in the eighth that tied the score at 5. Turner untied it with one out in the bottom of the ninth against lefthander Justin Wilson, who was trying to get through a second inning as Jeurys Familia warmed up.

Callaway said he wanted Wilson to “expend everything he had,” but if Washington got to Anthony Rendon — the next batter and also a righthanded hitter — he probably would have called on Familia.

Wilson said the game-ending pitch, a full-count fastball down and in, was supposed to be away. It would’ve been a “decent pitch to some hitters,” he noted.

But not to Turner, who finished 2-for-5 with four RBIs, three runs scored, two homers (the other against Zack Wheeler) and one stolen base — his fourth of the series.

“Got to give credit where credit is due. He put a good swing on it,” Wilson said. “I was hoping he pulled it foul or clanged it off the wall, but he got it over the fence. It happens.”

Turner also was the primary reason Wheeler’s season-debut stat line looked underwhelming. He allowed four runs and six hits in five innings, walking one and striking out seven, his worst start since July, right before the start of his big second half (1.68 ERA).

Three of those runs came during a four-pitch stretch to begin the bottom of the third. Victor Robles doubled, Adam Eaton singled and Turner crushed a homer to leftfield for the Mets’ first deficit of the season.

In hindsight, Wheeler said, the Nationals were sitting on fastballs early in the count — and, indeed, all three of those hits were off fastballs.

Wheeler bounced back to retire nine of the next 11 Nats (four via strikeout) to finish his start. Eight of those 11 saw an off-speed offering on the first pitch.

“I got a little fastball-happy in that inning,” Wheeler said. “That’s really what I’m upset about, not recognizing that earlier and falling into a routine, getting caught. He got me. It’s sort of a mental note that you take and carry it over to the next start . . . I’m beating myself up right now.”

Other than that blip, Wheeler said he felt similar to how he did late last season.

“His stuff is there,” Callaway said. “It was another one swing that kind of cost him what looks like a bad game. It wasn’t as bad as it looked.”

In the eighth, the Mets tied it with RBI singles by Amed Rosario, Wilson Ramos and Juan Lagares, the latter two off Nationals closer Sean Doolittle.  He tossed a scoreless ninth before Wilson couldn’t do the same.

“Any series win is great,” Wilson said. “We came in here, did that and have to go do it in Miami now.”


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